Davis knocked on the door of her apartment at precisely three o’clock. He didn’t want to give her any time to escape from him. “I’m coming.” When she opened the door, he just stood there, stunned.
This woman was wearing jeans and high heels. Her whole demeanor was just so over-powering. Her blazer was buttoned up over her jeans and a wool trench fell to her ankles. She had her sunglasses in her hand as she shut the door.
Her eyes grazed over him, checking him out, and that sly smile slipped onto her face. “Very nice. I like you in casual. I’ve got to say I really like the stubble on the face. Brings a little danger to the table,” she winked at him.
Davis didn’t move, just stood in front of her at the door. “You’re not going to invite me in to see your place?” he asked. Her clutch was in her hand, and her eyes ran over his body once again.
“First, it’s not my place, it’s Allie’s. Second, no. Taking you into the apartment with the way you look right now, might lead to…other things. And I was asked to challenge myself with a little bit of vanilla. So here I am going on a…date.” She chuckled, then glanced up at his eyes. “But if you’d rather forgo this whole dating thing, and just slip into the bedroom scene…” she began, when he took her around the waist quickly, pulling her away from the very tempting offer.
“Woman, you are one to make a man lose his mind, do you know that? Damn it, I was already having a hard enough time keeping something down. Then you step out looking like a man’s fantasy, and saying the things you do?”He growled, and took a breath. “Come on, sugar, let’s have an early dinner together.”
They drove into downtown Boston, and arrived at a high rise building. The valet opened the door for Davis, and he strode over to her door, took her by the hand and helped her out. “Are you trying to impress me, Mr. Mills?”
Placing his hand on her back as they walked through the lobby, he drawled, “Are you impressed? Because if you are, then that’s exactly what I was going for.” He smiled down at her. “But if you’re not, then I really just love the view from this place,” he said, kissing her lips.
“That was very forward of you,” she laughed at him.
His smile slipped, and his fingers touched her chin, lifting her face up to meet his eyes. “I can’t seem to behave when I’m around you,” he observed as he felt her skin under his fingertips. The elevator dinged, pulling him away from his thoughts.
“Shall we?” he asked, and guided her through the crowd to find the hostess. When they met the young woman up front, he smiled. “I believe you have a reservation for two for Mills.”
She inspected her book and smiled back up at him. “Yes, Mr. Mills, this way please,” she offered, walking to one of the tables looking out upon Boston. He pulled out Adire’s chair, and he heard her chuckle, making him smile.
The restaurant was dimly lit, bustling waiters scurrying all around them. “So how was your morning?” he asked as the waiter placed glasses of water in front of them.
She shrugged. “Oh you know, same as everyone else’s mornings, I suppose. Made myself a cup of coffee, talked to my friends, who were giddy with curiosity about the man I let lead me away from them the other night,” she informed him.
He leaned on the table over the candles. “Really, giddy were they? Why would they be so giddy?”
“Well, because I said yes to you.”
“What else did they have to say?” he asked curiously.
“Well, Kitty thought you were, in her terms, a hottie,” she chuckled.
That had him smiling. Every man knows, if the girlfriends like you, you’re in the clear. “And what’s your opinion on that? Or are you going to be coy and not tell me.”
She put her glass down, laughing at him. “You want me to tell you if I’m attracted to you? Are you telling me that me pulling you off the dance floor the other night didn’t make it abundantly clear what I thought of your looks?” He gave her a little shrug, once again loving the banter between them.
“Well, Mr. Mills, I have to say I find you extremely attractive. Sandy blond hair and blue eyes happen to be a favorite of mine. I’m very much drawn to that rugged appeal under such sophisticated attire. And your Texan accent that accompanies your rich deep voice I find luscious. Now, shall I go on about how your lean body appeals to me, or perhaps that’s better after-dinner conversation?” she asked.
Davis picked up his water. Never had he met a woman so forward with stating what she was thinking. “I think after dinner would work much better. If you keep speaking to me in such a way we’re not going to even make it to dinner at all,” he grunted, as once again this woman had his mind going in a dozen different directions.
Their menus were handed to them, and he asked the waiter for a couple more minutes. “So what looks good to you? I was thinking of the steak,” he said, making idle conversation.
Her heard her take a breath, and looked up at her; she was really looking over the menu. “The Caesar salad looks appealing, but so does the artichoke pasta,” she observed.
“They do have chicken, sugar,” he mentioned, thinking she might not be a big meat eater.
“No, that’s fine. I’m a vegetarian. But the pasta does sound very good. I think I’ll give that a try,” she told him, putting the menu down. “So do you have plans for us after dinner as well?”
He sat back, regarding her. “You know, I thought this would be a good time just to get to know the simple things about us. Then after dinner we can take it from there,” he suggested to her.
“Okay, so what do you want to know?” she asked quietly. But before he could speak, the waiter came and they placed their orders.
When the man left, he picked up where they’d left off. “Let’s start with simple things. When’s your birthday, favorite color, favorite food…”
She nodded, taking a sip of the seltzer water. “That sounds easy enough,” she began.“Let’s see, I was born November 10, in Revere, Massachusetts. That’s where I still call home when I’m not trailing all over the world. My favorite color is navy blue, my least favorite color is pink. And my favorite food is a vegetarian pizza.” She sat back and waited for him now.
He chuckled at her, “You don’t like pink,” and smiled at her shrug. “Well, I was born June 7 in Houston, Texas. But my father was born in Boston. My favorite color is green, and my least favorite is pink as well. That is unless you decide to put something on in that color. Then I think it just might become my new favorite.” She rolled her eyes at his comment. “But my favorite food is a big juicy steak, baked potato with corn bread on the side.”He smiled as he thought of his mother’s cooking.
The conversation was nice, easy. She was just so damn easy to talk to. Even when the food came and there was silence, it wasn’t uncomfortable. It was nice, and just felt right. They were chatting when she brought up a question. “Do you have both parents?”
He nodded. “Yes, my momma is back home in Houston. And I’ve been told my dad’s making his way back home to Boston very soon.” He wiped his mouth with his napkin, gauging her. “You see, my father has always been, well, a playboy. My mother just caught him in one of his…indiscretions again, and finally after all these years, has had enough. I was told that she’s finally given him divorce papers.”
She reached over the table and gave his hand a slight squeeze. “I’m sorry, Davis. That must be hard after so many years together for you,” she told him with sincerity. That’s when he knew a tiny chip around her heart had broken off towards him.
“Thank you, but my father and I have always had a strained relationship. I have a ranch outside of Houston, that’s my home. I went to college for business at my father’s insistence, but took agriculture as my minor. Let’s just say that irked him down to the bone. So now I have a bachelor’s in business, but ranching and working the land is my passion.” He took a bite of his steak, glancing over at her. “What about your family?”
He noticed she appeared a little uneasy when asked about her family. “My father left my mother and me when I was five. I don’t really remember much about him, only that my mother was deeply in love with him. And her deep despair after that he was gone. She would huddle in a corner and cry for what seemed like hours after he left us.
“But after a while she was okay. She went to work as a secretary somewhere in Boston. She was on the mend and seemed really happy from what I remember, after she was employed. I think it gave her an independence that she didn’t realize she was even craving for. Then she had an…accident. After that she was afraid of her own shadow. So my Aunt Sally put her in a hospital to help her heal. Other than her and Aunt Sally I have no other family I know of, or wish to know.”
She went back to eating, and something nagged at him. “Abie, what kind of accident did your mother have?” he asked very carefully.
She glanced up from her meal with an attitude of indifference. “It was just an accident,” was all she said. Taking another bite of her food, she changed the subject. “This is really good. I usually just get the garden salad,” she said.
His utensils went down on his plate and he leaned forward. “You’ve been here before?”
“Yes, but it’s always a lovely place to come and eat.” She looked him over. “Are you upset that I’ve come here before?”
He wasn’t quite sure how to answer that just yet. Maybe she had just come with friends, like a girls’ night out. But he knew that this wasn’t the sort of place the girls go to chat. Something about having another man bring her there bothered him. It was irrational, but still it bothered him. “So did you come here on business, or pleasure?”
Taking her water in her hand she sat back once again, regarding him. “I’ve been here on both.” She studied his posture after she told him the answer to his question. “Davis, you and I are both adults. If you were hoping for some little girl who hasn’t been out among the wolves, you’re going to be very disappointed.”
“No, I wasn’t saying…” he began. But she interrupted: “Most men want to believe that women just sit around waiting for the white knight to take them to extravagant places, buy them expensive jewelry, and make them feel special. And there are those of us who do wait for that man.
“But the facts are, most women do everything they want now on their own. And if other women had come here before, and you’d asked them that same question with the look you’re wearing on your face and that adorable crinkle on your forehead, they would’ve told you no. That you were the first one to take them to this magnificent restaurant.”
Next she did something that he would have never expected her to do. She reached over the white linen, asking for his hand, and he slipped it in hers. “I’m not some young girl waiting for the wealthy man to come and deflower her. That doesn’t mean that being here with you doesn’t affect me in the same way as that girl would have felt.”
He squeezed her hand and chuckled. “You know, I have tougher skin than you give me credit for. I’m not asking or expecting some little virgin, Abie. If I didn’t know by now how you are, I wouldn’t have any right to be out with you this evening.” He stared into her eyes with an ease that he wanted her to understand.
“There is something about you that makes me want to be the first in everything you do. I’m not saying it’s a rational thought, but you do bring out the possessiveness in me when I’m with you.”
At that statement, she gave him that sly smile he so loved. “Well, you’re the very first man in a very long time I’ve allowed to take my hand, steal a kiss, or divulge personal aspects of my life to.” Her eyes sparkled with mischief. “You’re also the first man that I’ve given my number to in eight years. So I think it would be safe to say you are many firsts in my life,” she confessed softly.
A wide grin spread over his face, as the beast in him liked her answers. “I think I can live with that, Ms. Black.”
“I’m very pleased that it suits you, Mr. Mills,” she purred.
After they finished eating, Davis took Adire all around Boston. He just wanted them to get a good feeling for each other; he wanted to really get to know this fascinating woman who was on his arm. When he took her over to Trinity Church, he saw how her finger glided over the wood on the pews of the church, and he could tell that it was something she liked.
She pointed out some things he never realized about the stained glass, talked about the architecture of the building. She let slip that there was a time in her life when she’d come here quite often, to think in peace about the next stage of her life. And he wondered what that was about.
It was around nine when he finally pulled into his parking structure. “I hope you don’t mind that we’re stopping by my place?” he said as he parked.
“No, I don’t mind at all,” she assured him. He came around and once again helped her out of the car. “Davis, you are the most well-mannered man I think I’ve ever come across,” she joked with him.
When they made their way into the penthouse, he opened the door and helped her off with her coat. He walked her into the front room area, where she enjoyed the spectacular view. “Can I get you anything?” he asked, going to get himself a beer.
“No, I’m fine, thank you,” she replied, still gazing out upon the Charles River. He stepped in back of her and his hands found their way to her luscious hips. “I love the view from up here,” he commented, as his lips found their way to her lovely neck.
“Mmm, you are a cowboy, aren’t you? You move in very quickly.” Her voice came out breathlessly. “But I’m going to have to throw a horseshoe in your seduction. Could you point me in the direction of the restroom, please?”
His lips skimmed along her neck. “Go down the hall, the bedroom the furthest back is the master suite. You can use that one if you’d like,” his voice gruff.
She turned in his arms. “Thanks,” she said silkily, untangling herself from his grip. As she made her way down the hall, he walked over to the table, grabbed his beer once again and took a sip, thinking of all the things he was going to do to that woman tonight, with a smile on his face.
Taking the last drink of his beer, Davis wondered what the hell was taking her so long. He thought she might be…getting ready for something for him, but twenty minutes had passed by now.
The bottle went to the table, and he turned to make his way back to the master suite. Just a couple of steps in, he saw Adire’s blazer in a mound on the floor. Bending over, he picked up the jacket and stared down the darkened hallway. He took a couple more steps, and he stumbled across her shirt puddled in another mound.
As he traveled closer to the room, he bent over retrieving the next articles of clothing from the floor. He had in his hands a pair of jeans, and his mind was racing. It took everything he had not to go storming into the master suite to find her.
His hand rubbed over his face before he stood back up, and went into the master suite. As soon as he stepped foot into the bedroom he tried to find her outline in the dark. “Abie?” he called out to her in the darkened room.
The light next to the wardrobe switched on, and sitting on his dressing chair was Adire. She sat back with her legs crossed, and arms draped across the back of the chair, smiling at him. And just as his mind had imagined, she was in nothing but her brassiere and a thin pair of panties, with her heels on.